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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Cliche

   
Author Topic: Cliche
sakubun
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Is there a list somewhere of cliches, things to avoid, and overused styles?
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debhoag
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somebody here posted a writers test a few days ago that was funny, but also made some good points. I took a quick skim through, but I can't remember what topic it was posted in. Anybody else know?
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Matt Lust
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There is this one Fantasy Writer's Exam

and Strange Horizons has this one on their website Plots they've seen too often


One that is kinda fun and cliche based but not necessarily designed for writers is The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord


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Matt Lust
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Also SFWA has SFWA writing advice
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Marzo
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How about the Mary Sue Litmus Test?

http://www.onlyfiction.net/marysue.html

[This message has been edited by Marzo (edited July 10, 2007).]


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Lynda
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There's a software online that's a free download called "Cliche Cleaner" - I have it (actually, the "free download" part may be a trial version, I don't remember - there's a "purchase" button on it, so I suppose it was a free trial to start with). It works pretty well. Once it shows you all the cliches and you clean them out, then it starts showing you repeated words. I never pushed it beyond that point. Do a search for it - I can't remember where I got it.

Lynda

[This message has been edited by Lynda (edited July 10, 2007).]


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sakubun
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Exactly what I was looking for.

The cliche cleaner is interesting.

What about personal cliches that people hate?

I thought of this when I read someone's advice about how they hated starting a story with dialogue, and I always want to do that.


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Lynda
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I think personal cliches can add interest to a character, or give a regional flavor to their dialogue. And I don't see anything wrong with starting a story with dialogue as long as we learn fairly soon who's talking and why he's important to the story, etc. JMO. Glad you liked the Cliche Cleaner.

Lynda


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kings_falcon
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Cliche cleaner is great. It's a highly recommended tool.

It was nice to see it pick up on certain phrases I had used for specific characters too.

It won't pick up cliche plot lines though.


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Matt Lust
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like this one from the afore mentioned Overlord's list

All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.


I mean really, is it just me or do fantasy novels have the "one lovable doofus rule" like Hollywood slasher movies has the "one black guy rule."

[This message has been edited by Matt Lust (edited July 11, 2007).]


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